Residents Seen Scaling 25-Storey Apartment As Building Engulfed In Flames
Dozens of residents have scaled a building to escape a ferocious fire which tore through an apartment in Los Angeles, leaving one adult and a three-month-old baby in a critical condition.
More than 300 firefighters battled the blaze that broke out on the sixth floor of a unit in Barington Plaza in the Brentwood area on Thursday morning.
Dramatic footage showed residents hanging off the side of the building, with thick black smoke billowing out of the 25-storey apartment.
“We arrived very quickly after the fire reported, within moments, to find heavy fire pouring out of this sixth floor unit,” LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey told CBS2.
Authorities dismissed initial reports that claimed people had jumped off the side of the building.
“That person that was hanging off the ledge that was contemplating jumping, what we ended up doing was talking that individual to stay put, our firefighters were able to effect a rescue…so no one jumped,”Humphrey said.
As a precaution, police placed inflatable air cushions on the ground in case people did decide to jump.
“We do not encourage people to jump, but if they had, we wanted to do our very best to help them,” Humphrey said.
Helicopters were used to airlift at least 15 residents to the roof, some of whom were wearing bathrobes.
After an intense hour-long battle with strong winds fanning the flames, emergency services treated eight people for smoke inhalation and two people remain in a critical condition.
Police are still working to determine the extent of the damage and how many apartments were destroyed.
The building, which was built in 1961, does not have a sprinkler system.
Police have not made any arrests but arson investigators are studying whether the blaze was intentional.
This is not the first time a fire has broken out a Barrington Plaza.
In October 2013, a fire broke out on the building’s 11th floor, sending three firefighters to the hospital with burn injuries.
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